Does the Prescient View Deny God's Omniscience?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by franklinmonroe, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    One view, which we will call the prescient or foreknowledge view, teaches that God, through His omniscience, knows those who will in the course of time choose of their own free will to place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation. On the basis of this divine foreknowledge, God elects these individuals “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). This view is held by the majority of American evangelicals. -- From www.gotquestions.org
    The above is just one example of a statement of the Prescient View. Basically, according to this view of Predestination God chooses the "elect" according to His foreknowledge of the individual's choice. Wouldn't you say that His foreknowledge is an aspect of His omniscience?

    So, God would know if a person were "elect" when the person was a fully cognitive adult human being. God would also know when the same human being as an immature child. God would know if this person were "elect" even before the individual was born and incapable of making any kind of rational choice. God knows perfectly all things because He is All-Knowing.

    Following this line of reasoning into Eternity Past, God would actually foreknow this person as either being "elect" or "non-elect" at/before/during His creation of that person's soul. It is impossible for God to NOT know something. And a created soul could not exist as both "elect" and "non-elect" in the mind of God anymore so than a soul could exist as neither. When God brings a person into existence He has already created that person as either one or the other. God would never conceive of any individual person in a way other than the way in which He did, in fact, create that person; otherwise, that would actually result in a 'different' person. And it doesn't matter how far back in Eternity you go, you can never place finite created souls before The Infinite Omniscient God.

    It could be said that God brings "elect" and "non-elect" persons into existence (all the while knowing which is which) even before those souls have themselves had a single conscious thought.

    If all the above is true, then His foreknowledge cannot be based upon a choice made by a person. That would require the absurd notion that a person could exist (in order to make a choice) and in the same way not exist in the mind of God. Logically, God cannot know AND not know; just as He cannot create a rock heavier than He can lift.

    It seems to me that the Prescient View must actually deny Foreknowledge/Omniscience because it demands that God at some point does not know something about a person (the choice that they might potentially make).
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Aug 13, 2014
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  2. JamesL

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    Both sides of the debate have altogether misunderstood Election, and misplaced the application. Much like arguing whether a bicycle has three wheels or four.

    Election is not related to the beginning of the race (faith). It is related to the END of the race - endurance, maturity, sanctification. The end of these is glorification, or adoption as sons, which is to be counted a brother of Christ, and share His inheritance. To not be put to shame at His appearing (1John 2:28)
     
  3. Reformed

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    franklinmonroe,

    Good logic and a right read of scripture on the the doctrine of predestination and election. Neither can be separated from God's omniscience.
     
  4. Rippon

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    You know, at first glance I thought you had said "Does the President's View Deny God's Omniscience.":laugh:
     
  5. Reformed

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    I believe the President would like to think so!
     
  6. InTheLight

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    It's simple. In our frame of reference, sequential time, it is a choice. To God, who exists outside of time, it's "already happened" and is known. NOT FOREKNOWN. KNOWN.
     
  7. Inspector Javert

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    Franklin....I am thrilled with your thoughtful O.P...but I think your conclusions are mistaken.
     
    #7 Inspector Javert, Aug 14, 2014
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  8. Yeshua1

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    that view would also deny the real effects of the fall,as it would assume that sinners still have that capacity residing within them to make a freewill conscious choosing...

    Also think that view is a way to still allow for the freedom of man to freely decide their eternal state, as one really does not wish to focus on God choosing us out beforehand, as that smacks against our sense of "fairness/right"
     
  9. Inspector Javert

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    #9 Inspector Javert, Aug 14, 2014
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  10. franklinmonroe

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    Inspector Javert, I am equally blessed to have your thoughtful response (but I still am hoping my conclusions are not mistaken). Allow me elaborate and let's see where it takes us. These are difficult concepts to express without getting extremely wordy and technical.

    They don't have to be. I was merely offering three stages in life showing that God knows people (and their status of election) at every stage, going back to the very earliest possible stage of Earthly life: birth/conception.

    I don't believe in the pre-existence of souls per se. What I was trying to communicate was the idea that God cannot 'create' a person without 'knowing' that person completely. I think it is not possible for God to 'know' a person and not ever actually 'create' that person. It would be purposeless; I just don't think God 'daydreams' like that.

    So, by 'create' I mean to conceptualize or conceive in His mind (like a sculptor doing a masterpiece). By 'knowing' I mean realizing or actualizing that person. These are simultaneous thoughts/action by God. Since God resides outside time, this may occur in time simultaneously with the human reproduction process. Certainly, I don't know. But I it is my opinion that when God thought of me, I came into existence; I instantaneously became fully me. Contrary to the philospher's explanation of consciousness ("I think, therefore I am") I prefer that "God thought, therefore I am".

    My purpose for the entire OP was to explain my position on this very issue (and it seems I failed you). I think I now know why. I spent a lot of words stating how God knows people without explicitly tying His knowledge with their future choices. God knows everything, but God foreknows people. Please, let me try again in different words.

    I would believe that even though an infant, for example, has not yet made any conscious decisions in time God already knows what that person's choices will be and the consequences. I agree that God does know the result of that decision before it is actually made on Earth and in Time.

    What I was expressing by stating that God knows a person is more than that human being's height, weight, eye color. It is also to say that God knows that person's future pain, joy, and decisions. Are we not the result of our own choices? Yes, they are OUR choices. Of course, it is God that sets everything in motion for our lives. God decides what time in history we will be born; God choses our physical and cognitive limitations. God choses our parents, and so forth and so on. God may cause that other driver on the highway to cut you off, but it our choice how we react to these things. Including the Gospel.

    But again, I would say that God controls everything leading to a person's conversion. God could put a person on a park bench at the vary same time a believer would be there to witness to him/her. God grants us the faith and repentance. I believe that God does everything short of verbally accepting the Gospel for us (which is only the outward sign). Naturally then, God would not put "elect" persons in situations where they would never have the opportunity to hear the preaching of the Gospel, which is the method He has ordained.

    The Prescient View states God bases His choice of electing a person on that person's decision. In order for God to 'base' a choice of election on external information, is to say He didn't know it. That is not possible for an omniscient God. To say that God (internally) knew all along the person's decision is to deny God a choice. God could not righteously chose to "elect" a person that will decide to reject the Gospel; conversely, because of His Word He must "elect" the person that accepts the Gospel. God cannot be forced to do anything. But for argument sake alone, IF God could be forced to take a particular action, it would not be out of His grace but out of necessity.

    The problem I see here is that you have God creating a person in the first line, and then again God creating the same person in the last line. Yes, I saw the "If" in the first line. In a sense, you have God knowing a choice before there is a person to make that choice. I would say that choices can't exist apart from the people that make them. My contention is that God cannot know the person (and thus about the person's choice) without actually causing that person to come into existence. Otherwise, God would have a bunch of 'concept' souls waiting around to become actual persons. But even if there is a delay between concept and actualization, the concept part would be already fixed.

    Not completely. The Prescient View maintains that God bases His elective choice on His foreknowledge. Of course He knows. How could He not? God is omniscient! But God does place His decision on a foundation laid by a human's choice.

    I hope this helps.
     
    #10 franklinmonroe, Aug 14, 2014
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  11. Rippon

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    This may be a real shocker for you...but God doesn't think the way you do. This "potentialities" stuff is for the birds.
    I am quite sure that you have totally lost it. Are you a fan of William Lane Craig, by any chance?
    The above is quite irreverent of you. God does not muse. And for you to say the last line is just plain awful.

    Your whole paragraph is sickening. And it is indicative of the way you operate here on the BB.
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    The truth is that with original Sin, and effects of the fall, NO sinner can come to God any more thru just free will as Adam had!

    And just because God determined who would get saved, does not make those His robots!

    Or that any who stayed lost were going against their own will!
     
  13. Inspector Javert

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  14. Inspector Javert

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    I'd conceivably be offended....but, these rants are not particularly coherent.

    Sorry. I just don't know what you are saying other than:

    "I'm Rippon, and I hate all non-Calvinists"
    "I'm Rippon, and anyone who doesn't agree with me makes me want to vomit."
    "I'm Rippon, and I wish to purge anyone who doesn't suckle at the teet of the same Theologians that I do."

    I get it, you hate non-Calvinists......PFFFF.....what's new. :sleep:
     
  15. Reformed

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    Actually Rippon made some valid counter points, but you claim, "I just don't know what you are saying". Allow me to elucidate.

    Do potentialities exist in the mind of God?

    Does God have a vivid imagination?

    Does God possess an imagination at all?

    If God does possess an imagination, what implications does that have for His omniscience?

    If God deals in potentialities He is not truly omniscient. In such a case God is reactive; having to wait (just like us) for circumstances to unfold in order to find out which potential will become reality.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    Good post once again.
    sadly you have seen the truth of this posters failed ideas...moving along the lines of the philosophical and away from the safe harbor of scripture.:thumbsup:
     
  17. Reformed

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    We move away from scripture to our own harm. It leads to speculation and confusion instead of truth and clarity.
     
  18. Inspector Javert

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  19. Reformed

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    You are playing a shell game here. Metaphysically potentialities do exist in the mind. Something that has potential is capable of becoming real. The converse is also true. It is capable of not becoming real. Man operates in the realm of potential, but not God.

    He seems to? In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We do not read where there was some period of undetermined time where God imagined anything. God does not need to imagine because He does not operate in the realm of potential. God operates in the realm of decree. God operates both in and outside of space and time.

    [​IMG]

    God sees all things as happened, happening, and will happen. There is no potential and no need for God to imagine that which is always before Him.

    I am using good and necessary inference about who God is as revealed in scripture. And if that means I lumped in with Rippon, well, I will accept that as a compliment.
     
  20. Benjamin

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    Such is impossible within the deterministic position concerning the Calvinist/Classical view of God's foreknowledge...

    You can't logically have it (potential) both ways. Read my signature...
     

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